©2020 by Vernon Miles Kerr, VernonMilesKerr.com, WritersClass.net
One fine Earth-day, God grew tired of seeing and hearing God’s name carelessly thrown about by human beings. Humans had written and spoken so many conflicting things about God since the solitary, single time God had communicated with them, aeons before, that God decided to physically intervene once again. Half-way between Earth and Mars, God created an Earth-containing sphere of written characters, hundreds of miles high, all of the written characters of every nation of Humans, in pure white alabaster.
The first time God had appeared, God exhibited a form undeniably more powerful than the surrounding mountains and over-arching starry sky. God handed the humans a simple set of Ten Suggestions, carved on stone tablets, which if followed, would have given them an Earthly Utopia. It was exactly the same message God had previously, and successfully delivered to thousands of other sentient creatures on thousands of other planets, in thousands of other galaxies.
God wanted to trust sentient beings, including these humans, to judge and test the effectiveness of God’s Suggestions through actual practice. But that human, whom God had chosen to represent the assembled masses, did not agree with God. In a fit of rage, he broke the tablets into shards, later recreating those suggestions as Ten absolute and inviolable Commandments and threatening dire consequences for disobedience, in a fearsome fictional afterlife of the representative’s own concoction. By that (even to God) sly manipulation, the man had now placed himself as the sole arbiter of those “Commandments” and thus, the sole arbiter of human affairs. “Religion” was born.
After that disappointing incident, God nearly abandoned the effort to help Earth’s sentient beings; but God later relented, and thereafter sent little flashes of invisible inspiration to nudge wayward humans, back onto the path toward Utopia. If the original Ten Suggestions could be reduced to one word it was “love.” Love for fellow human beings and love for the creator who gave this knowledge. Those invisible nudges were quanta of love: love of humanity, love of nature, love of artistic beauty, and love of the creator Himself. These quanta were not commands, but tiny suggestions.
But, even with these loving nudges, the human beings created new “religions,” whose adherents invariably coalesced into groups, then formed primitive hierarchies, then solidified a “theological philosophy,” which automatically put them into competition with other groups who had solidified other theological philosophies. That which God had intended to grace human beings — the way toward a peaceful Utopia — had now become the stumbling block that made Utopia impossible.
So, there it was. A sphere of white light, surrounding the Earth at all latitudes and longitudes, actually legible with a good pair of binoculars. It was visible for 72 earth-hours and thus was read and understood by all humans everywhere.
“I am. I hear your prayers. I do not intervene in day-to-day physical matters. I send inspiration, for those who open their hearts and ears.”
That was it. Nothing more. The sphere was gone in 72 hours. Hunans were free to choose, free to re-create the Ten Suggestions through actual practice. The result would be something more eternal than mere stone.
7 thoughts on “Theology | A Parable”
Perhaps you could spell it out more simply, instead of presenting your view in a parable? if good writing ensures the reader understands the message, then good writing must cater for both ends of the reading ability spectrum – both the highly-learned and the not-so-highly-learned. I may be at the lower end of the reading ability spectrum, since I cannot identify whether you are strongly religious or strongly anti-religious? I get the feeling it’s strongly one or the other; mild it is not, but which? (Please note: I am conscious of the interpretation dificulties in a conversation with no verbals. I assure you I write with respect and this is not intended as a hater post – indeed, I have added myself to your email list as I enjoy your style – mostly.)
Thank you for that intelligent criticism. I will re-read it, bearing in mind what you pointed out. Truth be told, I am an agnostic that leans toward a spiritual genesis, but having been “burnt” by organized religion, I’m against it and I don’t feel any of the world’s “holy” books are truly of divine origin. Maybe divine “inspiration” at times, but not dictated by a God. Thanks again for the helpful comment.
We may be very far apart in our beliefs, but I truly enjoyed your parable. It reminded me about the transformation of the Christian church from Constantine to Luther. They used monolithic government/church organizations to change the messages of Jesus into an oppressive religion which survived 1000 years. Jesus’s message, as written by witnesses who walked with him, was that there is God and God loves you and wants to have personal relationship with you. A message of love and grace. The Church changed it to a religion of does and don’t, added a Pope between you and God, and also decided to worship Jesus Mother, and finally making I’m possible for millions of people to hear the truth. I hear your pain, when say you have been burned by religion. Mankind has a propensity to want religion, they do it today. Our challenge is to not let their religions keep us from a relationship with our creator.
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Thanks for you interesting comment. ICYMI, I later posted “The Real Jesus” aimed at people who are non-religious and would normally never read the bible. In it I tried to get across even if you don’t believe every jot & tittle is God-inspired there is still value in its pages. 🙂 VMK
Theology | The Real Jesus
@LisaMac You’ve inspired me to go back and see if I can up the “clarity” on this piece. I’ll do a rewrite and re-post it as “A Parable – Revisited”
Thanks again. VMK
PS would be honored if you wld follow my blog, using the widget on this page and become a regular commenter.
I have taken many liberties in this little parable, the central one being, is there a “God” at all? Secondly if there is one, a superior intelligence, it has no gender. At this moment I’ve used the biblically-traditional “He” as God’s personal pronoun. I need to change that immediately. By the time you’ve read this I will have replaced “He” with, simply, “God” Three letters, not 4, like “they.” God is God’s own pronoun.
Don’t think that the “one chosen to represent the assembled masses” is necessarily “Moses.” The entire Hebraic bible story, with which the Western Word is familiar, has its roots much further back then the accepted time of Moses.
The other “liberty” I have taken is the concept of the Ten Commandments (or Suggestions) being a pat formula for “Utopia.” Amusing to me, is the prohibition in the Exodus version against making “graven images’ of God. Taken literally, wouldn’t that include making literary images, putting them between black leather covers, then promoting them as “God”?
This comment is on my own comment, above. For those of you completely unfamiliar with the “Ten Commandments” of Judaeo-Christian-Islamic tradition, here they are in summary.
I am the Lord your God. … (Yep, I do exist and I’m the boss of everything, an enlightened one though)
Thou shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. (Includes bandying that name about to prove arguments)
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. (What’s wrong with one day out of 7 for meditation and relaxation?)
Honour thy father and thy mother. (I wish some of the kids in Walmart would do that.)
Thou shalt not murder.
Thou shalt not commit adultery. (lack of marital faithfulness)
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. (lying)
So, taken as suggestions (which everyone might endeavor to follow) would we have at least a “better” version of Utopia?